“Pinpoint your passion.” Highly-acclaimed, international multimedia journalist and communication lecturer, Farland Chang, visited the Annenberg Student Communication Association on Monday, March 9th to share his insights with aspiring media specialists. Between clips of journalists who’ve inspired him, random acts of kindness and words of wisdom from interviews with stars such as Bruce Lee and Yo-Yo Ma, the CEO/Executive Producer explained how each example has contributed to his current understanding of successful branding in today’s digital age. After marveling at the power of the selfie stick to flawlessly capture the audience in front of him, he highlighted the following 5 traits as being essential to successful branding and valuable communication:
- Passion: If you’re dedicated to your cause, it will come through in your work. If you’re not passionate, why try?
- Preparation: If you aren’t prepared, people will be able to tell from a mile away.
- Practice: Run it again and again and again and with your eyes closed and over again.
- Comfortability: Sweating buckets on camera or while interviewing someone is not a good look. Noted. Your audience can’t be comfortable if you aren’t.
- Like-ability: Politicians understand the importance of being like-able, and you should too!
He then encouraged audience members (like me!) to workshop some of the ideas we had for branding ourselves and advocating the causes we’re passionate about. He and I briefly discussed my passion for promoting diversity in corporate entertainment. (Though we were only given an elevator-speech-sized window of opportunity to state our ideas, I hope to explore and implement more strategies for diversifying Hollywood in my academic and professional career.)
Chang closed with these impactful words from martial arts legend, Bruce Lee, to encourage scholars to adapt to the unpredictable digital communication and journalism industry:
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”